The injury bug doesn’t seem to want to leave the friendly confines of Foxboro, Massachusetts. In a season riddled by injury, the New England Patriots lost another key player today, this time, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.
Kelly originally hurt his knee in a 13-6 loss a couple weeks ago in Cincinnati, and it has kept him out of action up until this point. Kelly returned to practice this week, participating in both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s sessions. He must have hurt his knee even further in that Thursday practice, bad enough for the Patriots to shut him down for the rest of the season.
When Kelly was healthy, he was an important player on a banged up New England defensive unit. He was solid in the run game, while also bringing an element of a pass rush to the middle of that defense. Kelly racked up 22 total tackles in five games played, along with 2.5 sacks. After Vince Wilfork went down with an Achilles injury in week four, Kelly became the main guy that the Patriots leaned on, to produce on the inside. The hope was, Kelly would be able to return to the field in the near future, giving New England a solid pair of defensive tackles in Isaac Sopoaga and Kelly.
Adjusting has been a common theme for the Pats defense here in 2013, and this season ending set-back to Kelly will only provide another obstacle for a depleted Patriot team.